After dispatching the Reds 28-15 in the last round of the regular season, the stakes were much higher this weekend with a spot in the semifinals awaiting the winner.
The Reds hadn't beaten the Crusaders since the 2011 final and were right in the game up until the 60th minute with tries to flying wings Suliasi Vunivalu and Filipo Daugunu closing the score to 16-15 soon after the break.
But the Crusaders are made for knockout football and took control of the game in the final quarter to run out comfortable victors 37-15.
The only concern for the Crusaders will be an injury to Ethan Blackadder in the 62nd minute which saw the impressive loose forward come from the field clutching his wrist.
Crusaders 37 (Sevu Reece, Will Jordan, Tamaiti Williams tries, Richie Mo'unga try, 4 con, 3 pen) Reds 15 (Suliasi Vunivalu, Filipo Daugunu tries, Lawson Creighton con, pen) HT: 16-8